Plastics Recycling Update

Building a market for pigmented polystyrene

Village of Hope houseCrews are nearing completion of a South African village built in part with recovered colored and black EPS.

The Village of Hope development, spread across more than 700 acres, is meant to provide a community for orphans. Buildings in the development are constructed from panels made of all grades and colors of recycled EPS, which is combined with nine different chemicals and cement, according to the Cape Town, South Africa-based Polystyrene Packaging Council.

A 732-square-foot house uses nearly 1,600 pounds of EPS in the patented mixture.

“Until a few years ago, only clear, colorless or white polystyrene was considered to have recycling value,” the Polystyrene Packaging Council’s Adri Spangenberg stated in a press release. “As a result, waste management and recycling companies preferred to only collect and recycle unpigmented containers. … The colored and black material offered the same excellent insulation qualities and was readily available, but had no viable end market.”

Crown Publications reports the Get Connected Construction is constructing the buildings using its patented polystyrene and cement panels.

The housing project, costing roughly $18.5 million, is led by nonprofit group Mobile Education and Training Trust (METT). Able to accommodate 1,000 orphans, the village is scheduled to open in January 2017.

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